With the Union Cabinet deciding to approve promulgation of an ordinance to keep state boards out of the ambit of the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for one academic session, the Congress Party on Friday alleged that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government was serving the interest of the medical lobby, which included a large number of politicians and businessmen.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala asked the NDA regime to roll back the ordinance so that meritorious students get admission on the basis of their merit and the entire system of fleecing students through capitation comes to an end.
"Modi Government is trying to help private medical colleges, who are charging capitation fee of Rs. 60 to 80 lakh from every student aspiring to be a doctor in this country. With this view, NEET, which was espoused by the Congress Government in 2010 and has been a subject matter of litigation till the Supreme Court decided it, is sought to be deferred by way of ordinance," Surjewala told ANI.
"Who is Modi Government serving? Are they serving the interest of private medical colleges hold 100 examinations across India at which students spend crores of rupees? Is Modi Government serving the interest of students or a medical lobby just because a large number of politicians and businessmen have interest?" he asked.
The Congress leader said that according to him, to dishonour the order of the Supreme Court is the biggest dis-service to the young in this country.
"We reject in toto. We demand that Modi Government should roll back this ordinance and permit NEET to happen so that meritorious students get admission on the basis of their merit and the entire system of fleecing students through capitation comes to an end," he said.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis welcomed the Centre's decision to clear the ordinance to postpone the NEET by a year so that the students have enough time to prepare.
"I am happy that the Central Cabinet promulgated ordinance to postpone NEET exam by a year. There is a huge difference between the central board curriculum and state board curriculum because of which many students would have suffered," Fadnavis told ANI.
The Centre earlier in the day cleared the ordinance to postpone the NEET exam by a year so that the students have enough time to prepare.
The decision comes after a meeting chaired between Union Health minister JP Nadda and other state health ministers over the matter.
The meeting was convened after several parliamentarians opposed the common medical entrance test, saying the NEET has created confusion among the students who have already applied for the state entrance exams.
Earlier today, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal wrote to Prime Minister Modi asking him not to bring any order against the Supreme Court ruling on NEET, saying the students had welcomed the decision as it discouraged well endowed parents from making 'donations' to get their children admitted into reputed private medical colleges.
"It has come to my attention that reports are adrift that the Centre is making plans to overturn the decision by the Supreme Court and people have been tensed upon hearing this news. The people of the nation will be cheated if the Centre goes through with this decision. Just a few days ago, Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda called a meeting over the issue, where almost all health ministers opposed NEET, except Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain," the letter stated.
Kejriwal added that it is also being said that many politicians are running their own private medical colleges, in which some institutions are indulging in the practice of accepting large donations, which is why they were vehemently against the NEET examinations.
"It is my humble request to you to ensure that no orders are brought against the Supreme Court ruling in the matter, otherwise people will think that the Centre stand with those who garner black money," Kejriwal said.
The apex court had earlier ruled that the students will have to appear for NEET starting this academic session to seek admission to any medical or dental colleges in the country.
The opposition parties have raised concerns that the students passing out from the state boards in vernacular languages and living in remote areas may not be able to perform well enough in common entrance exam despite being competitive.